Plans for the 34th annual Berks Country Early Bird Fiddle Festival are being finalized and this year we are excited to be a part of the 2016 Berks Country Fest: An Americana Music Jamboree!

The event will again highlight bluegrass and folk music on stage and in the field at the Berks County Heritage Center, Bern Township, on Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (rain date is Sunday, June 12).

The Concert Schedule is, as follows:

10 a.m. - Kick off with Ken Gehret

10:10 to 11 a.m. - Matt Miskie (vocal and guitar music)

11:05 to 11:30 a.m. - Norman & Wileen (traditional Scottish music)

11:35 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Butch Imhoff (acoustic music)

12:05 to 1:20 p.m. - OPEN STAGE (10 minute spots)

1:30 to 2:05 p.m. - Full Circle Music Society (acoustic music)

2:10 to 2:30 p.m. - Keith Brintzenhoff & Conlan Kershner (old time fiddle & banjo tunes)

2:35 to 3:20 p.m. - Dual County (youth bluegrass group)

3:25 to 4:40 p.m. - Fiddle Contest (register 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. by the stage)

Cash prizes will be awarded in each age group, including 10 and under; 11 to 18; 19 and over; and three honorable mention prizes. The Best of Show Winner will be presented a plaque, sponsored by Mountain Folk Scholarship Fund. The Best Berks Country Tune on Fiddle plaque will also be presented for the best farming, farm animal or nature-related fiddle tune.

Following the Fiddle Contest, from 5 to 6:45 p.m., Crow Hill will play country and bluegrass music.

Though musical performances are the central focus of the fiddle festival, there are a variety of children’s activities in the Half-Circle Kids’ Tent-Music Craft Tent, Acoustic Road Show offers a quick guitar workshop and the Reading Musical Foundation (RMF) Operation Replay with their collection of musical instruments. Festival goers are asked to donate an instrument to RMF, if possible, for children’s musical education.

Enjoy some parking-lot picking all day long, and visit the music-related arts and crafts vendors on site.

Food and refreshments will be available, including pulled pork and brisket, and our delicious ice cream. There is a nominal parking fee. Attendees are urged to bring chairs and blankets and are reminded that pets and alcohol are not allowed.

The Early Bird Fiddle Festival is presented by the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department, and is sponsored by Meadowood Music, the CD Exchange, Robert Kain’s Country String Shop, the Reading Musical Foundation, the Mountain Folk Scholarship Fund and the Berks Country weekly magazine of the Reading Eagle.

The Berks County Heritage Center is located at 1102 Red Bridge Road (Reading, PA 19605) in Bern Township, just north of the St. Joseph Medical Center. For more information or directions, call 610-374-8839 or visit www.countyofberks.com/parks.

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